Written by Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

Are you confused about how much water you are supposed to drink every day? Do you know why staying hydrated is important?

I know some of you out there are phenomenal at staying hydrated so please keep up the good work, but this scenario is not the norm for most of the canadian population and many of my patients struggle every day drinking enough fluid.

If you are dehydrated, you might be experiencing one or more the following symptoms:

· Headaches

· Dizziness

· Mood swings

· Dry skin

· Muscle cramps

· Fatigue

· Body aches

· Halitosis, aka bad breath

Are you struggling with any of these health issues?

So you might be wondering: why is it important to stay hydrated? Here are just 5 of the many reasons why:  

· ELIMINATES TOXINS: your body detoxifies via sweat, urine, bowels, and breath. You need to continually replenish these lost fluids to promote their cleansing impact.

· PROMOTES MOTILITY: a common cause of constipation is dehydration so if you are not having at least 1-3 formed solid bowel movements per day then try to increase your water intake.

· IMPROVES MOOD: dehydration can cause anxiety, confusion, and fatigue. People who drink enough water often experience better sleep and more positive feelings throughout the day. If you are in a bad mood, try drinking some water.

· ENHANCES METABOLISM: drinking water along with adequate physical activity and a nutritious diet can aid in weight loss.

· LUBRICATION: adequate body water helps lubricate, protect, and cushion your joints, spinal cord, and connective tissue. Staying hydrated will allow you to exercise with less discomfort and reduce your risk of injury; it may also speed up recovery time. It can also help ease arthritis symptoms.

Are you feeling inspired to start drinking more water yet, if so please read on to learn about my 10 Hydration Tips:

1. Start your morning with 1-2 cups of water before you consume anything else (like coffee….)

2. For every ½ hour of exercise, drink 1 additional cup water

3. Drink half your body weight in ounces everyday

4. For every caffeinated and alcoholic beverage consumes, you typically need an additional cup of water due to their diuretic impact.

5. Replace salty snacks with vegetables and fruits. The produce with the highest water content includes: cucumber, tomato, watercress, apples, celery, lettuce, watermelon, peaches, zucchini.

6. Replace juice and soda with water. Juice and soda are both essentially sugar water which contribute to weight gain and increased risk for diabetes.

7. Try fruit infused water, if you dislike plain water.

8. Keep track of what you are drinking. Try Daily Water Drink Reminder apps which allows you to track how much you drink and will keep a record or use your fitness tracker if this feature is an option on your device.

9. Set alarms on your phone every 1-2 hours to remind you to drink.

I challenge you to start carrying your water with you, just like you carry your purse, money clip, or wallet. Start keeping track of how much you drink and see how it benefits your overall quality of life.